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Film / Final Destination 4

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The Final Destination, also known as Final Destination 4, is the fourth film in the Final Destination series, released in 2009.

Nick and his friends are visiting a race car tournament when he receives a premonition of a car crash, setting off a chain reaction that causes the stadium to collapse. After escaping the accident, he soon realizes that he and his friends are hunted by Death.

This film provides examples of:

  • All According to Plan: This film suggests that the premonitions throughout the series are sent by Death himself. Everyone who seemingly escaped from the disasters were actually meant to do it all along; Death just really enjoys playing with his prey.
  • All There in the Manual: The wiki has most of the secondary victims' last names and facts on their individual pages.
  • Asshole Victim: Carter and Hunt. Carter in particular has maybe the most humiliating, mocking death in the entire franchise, implying Death hates the guy as much as the audience does.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Lori's death is in a way caused by this; her leg getting crushed by escalator gears somehow causes her to spit up a large amount of blood onto her arm, which the main character is holding on to. As he slips, more and more of her body is dragged in, and eventually she either dies or passes out from the trauma, whereupon she quickly gets minced by the mechanism.
  • Call-Back: The opening sequence showcases most of the deaths in the previous films, usually through X-ray shots of skeletal damage.
  • Car Fu: George Lanter vs. an ambulance.
    • Nick, Lori and Janet vs. a truck. The truck wins.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The opening sequence depicts the various deaths from the previous three films from the perspective of an X-ray camera.
    • Early in the movie, shortly after the scene with the vision, news on TV are asking "Are amusement parks going the way of the dinosaurs?" The previous movie's accident couldn't have helped...
    • The death of George, getting randomly hit by an ambulance, is recycled from the scene in the first film where a character is randomly hit by a bus. In this case, the victim talks about feeling deja vu.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom: The escalator, possibly the series' goriest death.
  • Death by Ambulance: When the security guard is mentioning a feeling of 'déjà vu' and is run down by a careening ambulance twice.
  • Death by Racism: The first victim is a redneck named Carter Daniels who has NO compunctions whatsoever about calling African Americans "the N-word". (His character is actually listed as "Racist" in the end-credits.) He is given a spectacularly hilarious and humiliating end when he tried to burn a cross KKK-style in front of the black lead's house; his tow truck, dragging his burning and screaming carcass, twists the knife by playing War's anti-racism tract "Why Can't We Be Friends?" on the radio before it spectacularly explodes. The kicker? Dragging a black man from a car is a known (if uncommon) method of lynching, as seen with the murder of James Byrd, Jr. In other words, the guy got lynched.
  • Denser and Wackier: The deaths in this film are so over-the-top and ridiculous with many campy dialogues, not to mention Nick's infamous Dull Surprise throughout the entire film that it's as if the filmmakers have finally embraced the fact that the franchise really is camp on paper, whereas previous films have at least tried to be serious horror. Doubly surprising because the director of this film previously directed the second film, which many consider as the darkest (and most realistic) film in the series.
  • Downer Ending: Although Nick, Lori, and Janet think they manage to escape Death when Nick stops the cinema disaster from happening, it turns out that Death is the one who gave Nick the premonitions. In other words, Death is just playing with them, and in the epilogue, he has had enough fun. Cue the truck crashing through the cafe.
  • Dull Surprise: Bobby Campo's default facial expression throughout the film. Even when he's impaled in his premonition.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Race track. Full stop.
  • Exploding Barrels: The source of the mall collapse.
  • Eye Scream: "I've got my eye on you!"
  • Fanservice: Our leading lady gratuitously stands around in her undershorts; later there is a graphic sex scene featuring a fully nude, well endowed young woman.
  • Fold-Spindle Mutilation: Hunt dies when his organs are violently sucked out of his anus by a pool drain and catapulted in a gory display, along with the coin he tried to get from the bottom of the pool.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Taken to extremes. As if the commercials weren't bad enough Nick has brief images depicting how a character will die just moments before their death.
    • At the mall, Lori's shoelace gets stuck in an escalator, hinting at her gory demise in Nick's premonition.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Janet, despite having nearly died in the car wash accident, tells Lori that she's being paranoid and/or going crazy for believing that Death still has it out for them.
  • Free Wheel: Nadia, the first victim of Death's damage-control dies when a burning tire from the (unseen) mass pileup is flung clear out of the stadium and plummets down onto her in the parking lot, pulping a large part of her upper body from mid chest up. Her last words: "Have you all lost your fucking minds?"
  • Gas-Cylinder Rocket: How the mechanic gets catapulted into a chain-link fence.
  • Giving Them the Strip: Played with when Lori's shoelace gets caught in the escalator. It looks like it'll be either this trope or the opening gambit of her gruesome demise, but when the shoelace snaps of its own accord it becomes Foreshadowing.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The deaths of Nick, Lori & Janet are so brutal that the camera switches to a CGI x-ray shot showing bones snapping, skulls crushed, etc.
    • Also counts as Book Ends, since the opening credits used the same effect for previous movie deaths.
  • Ground by Gears: After barely escaping an explosion in the mall, Lori is pulled into the exposed machinery of a broken escalator and is torn to shreds as Nick looks on. Of course, this turned out to be another premonition and he is able to prevent it. In an alternate scene, he ends up getting pulled in as well.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The racist and his wife in the original vision.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Nick pulls this in one of the alternate endings (although he could have thought it through some more). What makes it heroic is that he chooses to save everyone in the mall, not just the people he knows personally. Unfortunately, Death still gets Lori and Janet.
  • Hope Spot: Twice, no less.
    • The gang thinks that by saving Janet and George from their respective deaths, they have managed to cheat Death. Thus, Nick and Lori decide to take a vacation, but the latter wants to watch a movie first with Janet. However, Nick realizes that there is another survivor in the stadium collapse who is in Death's List before Janet/Hunt: the Cowboy, but because he didn't go with Nick outside in the stadium, he is still injured all the same. Nick and George fail to save him, and George abruptly dies from being hit by an ambulance. Followed by the cinema disaster....(which turns out to be another premonition).
    • After preventing the cinema disaster, Nick, Lori, and Janet think that Death may has finally skipped them from Death's List, hence they celebrate their survival in a cafe weeks afterward. Yet Nick realizes that it may have been very well that Death is the one who gave him the premonitions, and they are never safe to begin with. Followed by the speeding truck...
  • Hotter and Sexier: This is the only film in the series to have a sex scene, and a pretty graphic one at that.
  • Hypocritical Humor: The guy who yells at the rock-throwing boys for being stupid: never mind how he's smoking while filling his lawn mower with gasoline.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: One of the victims is a mother of two and her kids are seen escaping the accident at the start while she gets separated and killed off. Unfortunately, there were a bunch of other children in the stadium that didn't get out, as seen in the memorial scene.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Before the disaster begins, Janet asks Lori if it was safe to sit on a broken bench. Lori assures her that everything will be fine, as there is a safety fence in front of them. Cue the fence's screws slowly unscrewing themselves...
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: When leaving the hospital, George starts casually talking about how he has a feeling déjà vu, and then... Well, see Look Both Ways below.
  • Kill It with Fire: This is how Carter dies. He gets hooked onto his truck as it starts moving forward and spilling gasoline, and he ignites and the truck explodes.
  • Look Both Ways: George gets run over by an ambulance while leaving a hospital.
  • Made of Plasticine: Most of the deaths featured downplay the durability of the human body, but the most egregious example is Andy Kewzer's death: Andy's death involves him getting launched into a diamond-link fence via a flying air tank, leaving him halfway impaled into the fence like a tomato in a veggie slicer. Despite being halfway impaled, we get a shot of a diamond-shaped chunk of his torso somehow falling out with no bones visible, as if his body was made of red velvet cake.
  • Mythology Gag: The falling tub death is completely identical to one of the deaths in the spin-off book End of the Line.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: After two numerical sequels, the fourth film is called The Final Destination, then the fifth one is just Final Destination 5. The Final Destination is, however, referred to as Final Destination 4 at the end of part 5.
  • Official Couple: Nick and Lori are the only lead couple in the series who are in a stable relationship throughout the entirety of their film. They get a Sickeningly Sweethearts moment in their first scene, live together and make decisions together, and each seems to care more about the other's survival than their own.
  • Oh, Crap!: Twice, corresponding to the Hope Spot mentioned above.
    • Nick gets an epic one when he realizes that there is another survivor in Death's List before Janet/Hunt.
    • And again, this time Nick, Lori, and Janet, when Nick reveals that Death is just playing them off.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The main characters all have their names mentioned in the credits, but secondary ones (Carter, Samantha, Andy, Jonathan, etc.) are only referred to by nicknames (Racist, MILF, Gearhead, and Cowboy, respectively). You'd have to go to the wiki for their proper names, or listen closely to the news broadcasts in the background of certain scenes.
  • Our Slashers Are Different: Aside from the basic premise, this movie revealed that it was actually Death itself that sent these visions, meaning that Death was essentially just playing with the people who survived before killing them off the way they'd always intended.
  • Plot Hole: In the premonition, the cowboy's death comes before Hunt and Janet were crushed by debris. However, in the "real world", the audience only learns that he's still alive after Hunt has already been killed, and after Lori and George had saved Janet from near-certain death in the car wash. Apparently, Death wasn't too strict about the order in which people died this time. It could be possible, though, that Janet survived slightly longer due to falling rubble not always being an instant death, and she died in the same explosion that killed George and Lori
  • Prophecy Armor: George Lanter discovers, much to his despair, that Death's game is played by Its rules alone. He decides to kill himself to try to appease Death (because as he sees it, what is the point of keeping on fighting?), only for his every attempt (as he mentions: overdosing, gunshot, hanging, trying to choke with his car's fumes) to just not work.
  • Series Fauxnale: This was supposed to be the last film of the series, as in The Final Destination, but as it became highest grossing entry (to date), another film was produced. However, in terms of in-universe chronology, The Final Destination is technically the latest set of events as Final Destination 5 reveals itself to be a prequel to the first film.
  • Sex Signals Death: Hunt, who actually came to terms of being next to die by getting laid first.
  • Shirtless Scene: Nick and Hunt each get their own.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Suggests the premonitions are part of Death's design to begin with and that no one ever had a chance of escaping.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: The original ending had Nick grab one of the flammable canisters in the mall, look around to see there were too many to remove...and jump out of the window with one to cause an explosion and set off an alarm. Wait, what? Why not just throw the canister out on its own? Doubly dumb due to the fact that Lori and Janet die moments later outside anyways.
  • Torso with a View: The mechanic gets diced by a chain-link fence, and a diamond-shaped piece falls through to allow the audience a clear view of the other surviving characters freaking out.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • At least half the deaths from the film were spoiled in the commercials. Subverted with Janet, whom we all thought was going to get her face ripped off in the car wash.
    • Likewise subverted with Lori getting crushed in the escalator gears. We do see that happen, but it turns out to be another premonition of Nick's.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story:
    • The pool death was probably based on Abigail Taylor, though she didn't die from the event itself.
    • While exaggerated, the opening disaster at the race track bears a few similarities to the 1955 Le Mans disaster, in which a minor accident caused the driver to lose control and crash into the grandstand, causing the vehicle to explode and sending flaming debris into the stands, some of which actually decapitated the spectators.
  • Wham Line: Nick: "What if we didn't change anything, what if us being here, right now,...was the plan from the beginning?"


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Final Destination


Carter's Death

Carter Daniels from "The Final Destination" suffers a humiliating death whilst trying to burn a cross on a black man's lawn. Death quickly comes for him, dragging his burning body across the road similar to a lynching. All while set to War's "Why Can't We Be Friends".

How well does it match the trope?

4.84 (25 votes)

Example of:

Main / DeathByRacism

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